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a tort, and that the assignment of such a claim was not permitted either at law or by the rules of equity.

In reply, the counsel for the United States said that, except for the circumstance that some of the assignees are citizens of the United States, the Government of the United States would be without interest in the question raised. He referred to his argument in the case of Roman v. The United States, No. 553, and to the decision of the Commission in the case of Wiltz, administrator of Delrien. In the latter case, it having appeared that the commissioners were of the opinion that a right was vested in the person injured at the moment of the injury, it was a reasonable legal inference that the right became at that instant a subject of assignment. In this case the Commission gave an opinion as follows:

WASHINGTON, April 21, 1882. This case has been heard upon demurrer to the inemorial. The memorial states that the claimant on the 12th June, 1863, “sold and assigned his claim on the proceeds of the cotton to the firm of Duthil & Faisans, of New Orleans."

The counsel for the United States claims that such sale and assignment was legal, and that thereby the claimant ceased to have any title to the claim, and is not, therefore, entitled to present it, and have an award.

The claimant says in his memorial that he is advised that the assignment is null and void. He does not claim that the assignment was not made according to the agreement of the parties to it, or that it is void for fraud, or other such cause, but only that it is not legally valid.

In No. 657, Duthil & Faisans present the same claim as assignees of Camy.

It is plain that there can be only one award for the claim. if Camy is legally entitled to it Duthil & Faisans are not; if they are entitled to it Camy is not.

The grounds upon which the counsel for Camy claim the right to recover are –

1st. That the claim of Camy against the United States is not an assignable right; and,

2d. That by the statute of the United States all assignments of such claims, before allowance, are pull and void.

The convention under which we act is silent upon the question whether the original claimant may not assign his claim to another.

The commissions heretofore established by treaty between the United States and other powers for the settlement of such claims have recognized the right of the original claimant to transfer his claim to another. The rules of the British and American, the Mexican, and the Spanish Commissions recognize the right and require the transfer to be set forth in the memorial. The rules of this Commission also recognize the right.

Several cases of awards to assignees may be found among the decisions of the Brit. ish and American Claims Commission.

We think the claim existed and vested in the claimant a right to relief and compensation when the acts of taking the cotton and converting it to the use of the United States were committed. True, there was no court or tribunal to which the claimant could present his claim and obtain judgment and compensation, but his moral right existed, and the establishment of this tribunal recognized it and gave him a legal remedy for his right becanse no other existed. To say he has no legal right because there is no established tribunal to give him a remedy is, in a certain parrow and technical sense, true. But we think international commissions estabslished for the very purpose of giving a remedy where pone existed before stand upon a higher principle, viz, that rights to relief and compensation do exist; that they arose at the time the acts were committed; that they are recognized as rights, and that interartional commissions are created because, from the very bature of such acts and the claims arising from them, they do not come within the jurisdiction of any other tribunal.

It is urged that as the statute of the United States makes assignments void, that statute must operate to anmul the assignment of Camy. We think that statute does not apply to the rights and claims of foreigners whose rights cannot come before any American tribunal for decision. That statute was made to prevent frands upon the Treasury. It cannot fairly be extended to affect the claims of foreigners coming before an international commission.

We hold, therefore, that the demurrer is sustained, and the claim must be disallowed because the claimant has no title to the claim or its proceeds.


In this case it was alleged and proved that the claimant was a citizen of France; but it appeared also that he had become a voluntary bankrupt under the laws of the United States. It was claimed by the coun. sel for the United States that the decision in the case of Camy was applicable to the case of Ruty.

The records of the bankruptcy court showed that the claim against the United States was not entered upon the schedule of assets; and it was claimed by the counsel for the memorialist that, inasmuch as it was not so entered, the title did not pass from Ruty to the assignee, but remained in Ruty.

On the part of the United States it is contended that by the act of assignment the title to all the property of the memorialist passed from the bankrupt to the assignee by virtue of the statute of the United States (14 Stat. at Large, p. 523), and that it was immaterial to inquire whether the bankrupt included the item upon his schedule or omitted to notice it.

The claim was disallowed by the concurring vote of Baron de Arinos and Mr. Commissioner Aldis. The question of jurisdiction did not arise in this case, and it is reasonable to assume that the commissioners who signed the award of disallowance were of opinion that the assignment in bankruptcy passed the title from the bankrupt to the assignee.


The memorialist claimed the sum of $25,000 as compensation for his arrest at New Orleans the 6th day of September, 1862, by order of Major-General Butler, and his confinement in the custom house and at Ship Island until the 24th day of December of that year.

The testimony showed that Dubos was a writer for a newspaper published at New Orleans, called the Compilateur. Dubos was a resident of New Orleans when the city was captured by the forces of the United States. The first day of May, 1862, General Butler, as commander-inchief, proclaimed martial law in the city of New Orleans.

Iu that proclamation was this inhibition :

No publication, either by newspaper, pamphlet, or hand-bill, giving accounts of the movements of soldiers of the United States within this department, reflectir in any way upon the United States or its officers, or tendivg in any way to influence the public mind against the Government of the United States, will be permitted.

It was apparent that the articles written by Dubos, and signed by him and published in the “Compilateur," were a violation of the proclamation in the particular cited, and, although this point was contested by the counsel for the memorialist, the majority of the Commission in their findings accept the fact as established.

In the proclamation of General Butler was this declaration: All foreigners not naturalized and claiming allegiance to their respective Governments, and not having made oath of allegiance to the supposed government of the Confederate States, will be protected in their persons and property as heretofore under the laws of the United States.

It was claimed by the counsel for the memorialist that this was a guarantee by General Butler that he would not enforce martial law against the class of citizens described, of which Dubos was one.

It appeared also from the testimony that the morning after the proclamation was issued General Butler appointed Major Bell provostjudge, and Colonel French provost-marshal. Thereupon Colonel French notified the public that he assumed the position for the purpose of carrying out such of the provisions of the proclamation as were not left to the municipal action, and he called attention particularly to the prohibition against publications in newspapers of notices and resolutions in commendation of the enemies of the United States. The record showed that General Butler assumed personal jurisdiction of the case of Dubos, and that upon his order he was first confined in the custom-house at New Orleans and afterwards sent to Ship Island.

The majority of the commission, Baron de Arinos and M. de Geofroy, gave judgment for the claimant in the sum of $800.

The commissioner for the United States filed a dissenting opinion, and in that opinion he stated that upon consultation with his colleagues he found that they concurred with him in these propositions:

1st. That General Butler had authority to declare martial law in New Orleans, and that his proclamation of martial law was both anthorized and justifiable;

2d. That it applied to aliens in New Orleans, and that they were bound to obey its regulations the same as other inhabitants of the city.

3d. That Dubos, in publishing the articles complained of, exposed himself to arrest by the military authorities. *4th. That his arrest was therefore in the first instance justifiable.

But he adds that his colleagues held

That Dubos should have been tried by a military commission for the offences charged against him; that General Butler did not establish an arbitrary Government, but settled and recognized certain restrictions to his own authority, and announced the principles and rules of his administration, and that the instructions for the government of the armies of the United States in the field required that " whenever feasible martial law should be carried out in cases of individual offenders by military courts."

It appears from this statement that the award was not based upon the absence of authority in the commanding general to proclaim martial law, nor in the fact that his requirements were not reasonable, nor in the fact that Dubos was not guilty of a violation of the rules so estab. lished, but that the imposition of the penalty by the act of the commanding general was a violation of the proclamation, and also of the rules and articles of war.

The history of the case is presented in detail in the opinion of Commissioner Aldis, which may be found in the appendix, marked Exhibit H.



Athenais Chrétien Le More was the widow of Alfred Charles Le More, and presented the claim as administratrix of his estate. Alfred Le More and Jules Le More were members of the firm of Edward Gautherin & Co., which consisted of Edward Gautherin and Alfred and Jules Le More. This firm, as it appears from the record, was engaged in business at New Orleans for a time previous to the commencement of the civil war and until the city was taken by the forces of the United States in April, 1862. At the time of the capture of the city this firm had a contract, not then completed, with the Confederate authorities for the delivery to the Confederate Government of a large quantity of gray military cloth. While the members of this firm, with the exception of Gautherin, were resident at New Orleans, they, in the month of June, 1862, through their agent, delivered to the Confederate

autborities at Matamoros, in Mexico, about 609 bales of gray military cloth, measuring 198,3687 yards, and all of the value of $405,483.08. Payment was not made at Matamoros, but a receipt was given by an officer of the Confederate army. Previous to the delivery of the cloth a deposit had been made by the Contederate authorities, first with the French consul at New Orleans, and, subsequently, with the Bank of New Orleans, of $105,000. Upon the presentation of the receipt for cloth given at Matamoros this sum of $405,000 was paid to Gautherin & Co., the Le Mores being then the resident members and managers of the firm. Upon the discovery of this transaction by General Butler, Alfred and Jules Le More were arrested and brought before him. After an examination made by General Butler, Alfred Le More was sent to Fort Pickens, where he was confined from the 15th of November to the 26th of the same month, and subjected to the further penalty of wearing a 32-pound cannon ball and 6 feet of iron chain. From November 28 to December 20 he was imprisoned with others in the New Orleans custom-house. Jules Le More was also examined by General Butler, and by his order was sent to Fort Jackson, where he was confined without other penalty, and was then brought to New Orleans, where he was kept at the custom-house with his brother and other prisoners.

It was contended on behalf of claimants

1. That on the 14th of April, 1862, when the city of New Orleans was still under the control of the so called Confederate authorities, $405,000 were held in escrow by the French consul.

2. That the following day the agent of Gautherin & Co. left New Orleans to deliver the goods to Confederate authorities.

3. That after the capture of New Orleans by Admiral Farragut, and the raising of the blockade, the city remained surrounded on the land side by the lines of Federal forces, and that Gautherin & Co. were unable to communicate with their agent who left New Orleans on or about the 14th of April.

4. That under the laws of the State of Louisiana, the transaction was complete on the 14th of April. (See contract of sale, chap. 4, art. 2431.)

It was contended further on behalf of claimants that the duties of the alien, who was neutral, were determined by international law and not by the municipal law of the United States, and that the Le Mores had never violated their duties as neutrals.

It was claimed by the counsel for the United States that by the execution of the contract to deliver to the Confederate authorities the quantity of gray military cloth named, the Le Mores had voluntarily given aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States during the time specified in the first article of the treaty, and contrary to the provisions of that article, and that consequently the Commission had not jurisdiction of the persons nor of the causes.

The majority of the Commission-Baron de Arinos and M. de Geof. roy-held that the Le Mores, by the delivery of the cloth, were not guilty of giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States, but the grounds for the opinion were not stated.

In the case of Alfred Le More the majority of the Commission say: This is a case of unusual and arbitrary conduct on the part of the general commanding at New Orleans.

He had no right to inflict punishment on the claimant, but only to detain him in custody for trial. The punishment of solitary imprisonment at hard labor with ball and chain was unnecessary, extreme, and much too severe. In this case we allow the claimant $10,000, without interest.

In the case of Jules Le More an award of $4,000 without interest was made.

A dissenting opinion was given by Mr. Commissioner Aldis, in which he says:

1. The evidence that is not in dispute shows, in my opinion, that the claimants gave aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States.

2. Notwithstanding the conflicting decisions of the courts, and the more conflicting opinions of the writers upon international law, I think that the gray cloth furnished by the claimants shonkıl upon principle be held to be contraband of war. It was furnished voluntarily upon express contract with the Government of the Confederate States for the use of the army. Its destination was for some port of the Confederacy nearest to Richmond, if possible. It was called in the correspondence “ariny supplies. It was a direct and necessary aid for carrying on the war. These are the elements which upon principle constitute contraband goods.

The doctrine and policy of nations as to what is and what is not contraband advance and recede according to their necessities as belligerents or their interests as neutrals; but the doctrines of international law must stand upon principle to command the assent and respect of mankind.


This claim was made by the daughter of one Louis de Bebian, a French citizen, who was lost at sea in the month of April, 1865. It was alleged in the memorial that at the outbreak of the war the father was a resident of Wilmington, in the State of North Carolina, and in employment of a mercantile house doing business under the style of “0. G. Parsley & Co.” The said de Bebian left Wilmington the 6th day of August, 1861, as a passenger on board an English schooner called the Adelso, and as agent of the house of 0. G. Parsley & Co. When seven days out of the port of Wilmington the Adelso was driven by stress of weather into the harbor of Newport, R. I., where she was boarded by a lieutenant from the revenue-cutter the Henrietta. The papers of the Adelso were examined, and especially the papers of de Bebian. Among the papers of de Bebian were a letter of credit and instructions from Parsley & Co. to purchase in Liverpool five to ten thousand army blankets, a thousand bags of coffee, numerous articles of clothing, and a quantity of iron of various sizes, all to be shipped in a French or British vessel destined to Wilmington, N C. There was found, also, among the effects of de Bebian, a set of signals for the use of the vessel that should take the return cargo, and to be answered from the shore, for the purpose of enabling the return vessel to make the river and the harbor of Wilmington. Upon the disclosure of these facts de Bebian was arrested and imprisoned in Fort La Fayette, where he was detained from the 20th of August to the 16th of Septeinber, when he was released on parole. The 4th day of October following, Mr. Sewarıl, then Secretary of State, wrote to the French minister that he had ordered de Bebian's release on condition that he would not return to the Confederate States. All of de Bebian's papers, with the excep. tion of the letter of credit, which had been lost, were returned to him.

The grounds of the claim were set forth in the memorial under five heads; (1) the arrest; (2) bad treatment; (3) loss of the letter of credit and the consequences thereof; (4) the expense incurred in attempting to recover possession of the letter of credit and to obtain justice; (5) imprisonment, and the loss consequent thereupon.

The counsel for the claimant urged in support of the claim that the arrest and detention of de Bebian were arbitrary and without good cause, he being a French subject traveling on an English vessel, and

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